Improvisational Piecing Tutorial
I thought I would be back to my placemat project by now, but got a little carried away with the leftover scraps so I thought I would do a little tutorial on improvisational piecing. When I cut out a 13-inch circle from my lily fabric, I had a big hole and a lopsided frame. After piecing together my large scraps, this still wasn’t quite large enough to fit inside the circle with a seam allowance so I added three more strips to the center of three sides. I like the way this looked, so pressed down a 1/4-inch seam around the circle cut-out (lily fabric).
A note about improv piecing–you can end up with some bulky seams so use a dressmaker’s tip: steam the seams that need flatting, and press a piece of wood on the damp fabric. I placed an old cutting mat underneath for a firmer surface. I don’t have a professional wood piece so I just used a scrap of wood I had.
I use a wood block but you can see what a professional uses, a tailor’s clapper:
Next, I centered the pieced circle within the frame with 3/4-inch sequin pins and hand appliqued the edges. I didn’t have any dark purple silk thread so I used Superior Bottom Line–works great for applique. I guess you could call this reverse applique without the work (although it took me several tries to get this pinned evenly)!
And finally, your tutorial on improv piecing. Sometimes, I straighten then edges before piecing, but you don’t have to–just sew them together then trim the seam allowance and press.
Press toward unpieced unit when possible
I trimmed this edge–just too much going on for me to see where to sew.
I didn’t feel like figuring out how to add a piece to this angle so I just folded the edge under and stitched it to in place. This is called texture and just plain laziness on my part. Whatever works, eh?
Actually I’m going with the first one. I thought this was too ugly for a potholder so decided to play around with some embellishing. After quilting in the ditch at almost every stinking seam (I’ll tell you where I learned that next time), I decided to play with couching yarn, beading, and more quilting. I don’t always wait till Friday to have Fun.
But wait, there’s more. I also made a new name tag. TIP: If you round the corners, satin stitching the edge is much easier.
My job here is done. Till next time–
Posted on August 3, 2016, in tutorial and tagged bulky seams, improv piecing, mathstick qulting, name tag, photography, quilting in the ditch, reverse applique, satin stitch, tailor's clapper. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.